NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – The government has unveiled a Sh6 billion World Bank funding for technical colleges.
Deputy President William Ruto said the funds would go into supporting infrastructure, curriculum development and training of trainers.
Speaking when he presided over the graduation of The Meru National Polytechnic in Meru County on Friday, Dr Ruto noted that under-funding had for a long time slugged the growth of technical institutions.
“As a result, these colleges did not bring about the desired impact to our development agenda,” he said.
But with the Government’s renewed focus on competency-based training, the Deputy President told the graduates that more resources were being channeled into technical institutes to power the transformation agenda of the country.
He challenged the graduates to “meaningfully participate and contribute” to the development of the country through the cutting-edge skills acquired.
Dr Ruto said the ongoing revitalisation and upscaling of technical and vocational education would help churn out competent and entrepreneurial workforce who would drive the Big Four agenda and the Vision 2030.
“We have configured our curriculum in such a way that the colleges would churn out innovators, thinkers, and progressives with fresh eyes and a transformative attitude to propel Kenya’s growth,” he explained.
Referred to as the East Africa Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration, the World Bank project is expected to benefit the Meru National Polytechnic, Kisumu National Polytechnic and Kenya Coast National Polytechnic.
Last year, the World Bank also picked The Meru National Polytechnic as a regional TVET institution for East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project in Building and Construction Technology, a Sh1.08-billion initiative that seeks to make the institution a centre for producing manpower for Kenya’s infrastructural needs.
So as to decrease its reliance on the Government, Dr Ruto challenged polytechnics and universities to develop their own income generating projects.
This, he argued, would shield them from dwindling national budgets.
He lauded The Meru National Polytechnic for its robust income generating programmes that subsidise the few resources it receives from the Government.
He asked tertiary institutions to further strike partnerships and linkages with development partners such as the World Bank to further their cause.
Dr Ruto said the recalibrating of the country’s technical education curriculum to match up with the labour market demands would provide the youth with core employability skills, work experience and job-search abilities.
Meru leaders led by Governor Kiraitu Murungi questioned the validity of the recently-released census figures, claiming they were fabricated.
They said they would not be taken for granted, and threatened to sue the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics for the doctored census numbers.
Meanwhile, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, Gitonga Murugara (Tharaka) and Abdul Dawood (North Imenti) said they would rally behind Dr Ruto’s 2022 Presidential bid as the Mt Kenya East block.
“We are going to work as one heading to the 2022 polls. We must therefore put our house in order in readiness for the race,” said Mr Linturi.